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Da Vinci surgical robotics is arriving soon to Ormiston Hospital

The ins and outs of knee surgery and knee cartilage.

The knee is the largest joint in the body – the femur, tibia and patella (knee cap) make up this joint. These bones are lined with cartilage which acts like a shock absorber to allows for a smooth low friction surface for the knee to move on.  Knee surgery can help improve knees and resolve cartilage.

While our cartilage absorbs the shocks our ligaments stabilise the knee joint. Medial and lateral collateral ligaments keep the knee in line. The (internal) anterior and ligaments support the knee from buckling and giving way. To finish, our knee joints are surrounded by a capsule (envelope) that produces a small amount of synovial (lubrication) fluid to help with smooth motion.

knee surgery

Knees are complicated and rely on many different moving parts to ensure they function well. If one of the above is not fully functioning it can have detrimental effects. A common injury is a cartilage tear. This can happen while playing a sport and twisting the knee suddenly or it can simply happen while gardening and getting up from a squatting position.

So how should you be aware of a cartilage tear? Notice the following signs after an incident and be aware it will require follow up from your GP or an Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Signs that your cartilage could be damaged:

  • Pain over the torn area i.e. inner or outer side of the knee
  • Knee swelling
  • Reduced motion
  • Locking if the cartilage gets caught between the femur a tibia

It is very important to get cartilage tears treated as once the cartilage has torn it predisposes the knee (or any joint) to develop osteoarthritis (wear and tear) in 15 to 20 years. It is better to resolve the torn pieces immediately if the knee is symptomatic.

This month Ormiston Specialist Centre extended it’s Orthopaedic practice to include Mr Michael Flint and Mr Nick Gormack. Both of these surgeons are able to manage and treat cartilage injuries (among other Orthopaedic conditions) with Knee Arthroscopy surgery. This modern form of treatment involves using a camera and the picture is displayed in high definition on a screen for the surgeon. Recovery is relatively quick (4 – 6 weeks) and makes it very effective with high success rates.

Mr Michael Flint regularly performs this surgery to enable his patients to get back to what they love doing; “Getting on top of these problems early helps us to ensure a quicker recovery time.”

If you are concerned about a knee injury, or have any other hip, shoulder, or joint concern we recommend making a consultation booking with one of our Orthopaedic Surgeons. You can do so by contacting Ormiston Specialist Centre on (09) 271 3305, or ask your GP for a referral.

Or if you know that you need knee surgery on cartilage please speak to us for further information.